HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
   
 
Newest Articles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
   
 
  Down Among the Z Men Goonness Gracious MeBuy this film here.
Year: 1952
Director: Maclean Rogers
Stars: Harry Secombe, Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Carole Carr, Leslie Roberts, Clifford Stanton, Robert Cawdron, Andrew Timothy, Graham Stark, Russ Allen, Elizabeth Kearns, Miriam Karlin, Sidney Vivian, Howell Evans, Rufus Cruikshank
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harry Jones (Harry Secombe) is a shopkeeper's assistant in a quiet English village, but he dreams of adventure, patterned after his starring role in a local theatre production of "Bats of the Yard". In everyday life, however, he is stuck as a bumbling helper in a general store, falling over himself (literally) to serve the customers and more often than not scaring them away. Today there will be a selection of customers, two of whom are wicked secret agents, and one of whom will be the Professor (Michael Bentine) who they are trying to steal the formula from - so how does Harry fit into all this?

You'll note Mr Secombe was not playing Neddy Seagoon here, which was odd because essentially Down Among the Z Men was The Goon Show movie - or was it? The four original Goons were present and correct, but instead of leaving script duties to most celebrated writer Spike Milligan, Francis Charles and Milligan's then-co-scripter Jimmy Grafton stood in, doing a fair approximation of Milligan's humour, but "fair" was as good as it got here. Certainly dedicated fans of the radio series do not rate this at all highly, and see it as a waste of time except for completists.

But it's really not a total dead loss, as there are a few giggles: these were talented men after all, and if the particular flavour of freewheeling lunacy that the radio series presented was missing, then a few wacky quips or setpieces save it from utter oblivion. True, The Goons will always hold a vital place in comedy history as one of those genuine innovators where you hear it (or what remains of it) and think, yes, the landscape of humour changed there, yet that is not something you will feel watching this. Though where else will you get to see all the four of them in the one place?

Bentine left the team after a couple of series to plow his own furrow of ingeniously contrived humour, but it's Milligan that history remembers as the true innovator, however reasonable that may be. So how odd to see him pretty much in a supporting role here, not turning up for quite a while and when he does, going through familiar goofing routines as Private Eccles. Peter Sellers doesn't come across much better, as a more level-headed Major Bloodnok than he was on the radio, an old military buffer who helps the Professor to rediscover the formula.

Although before it has been rediscovered, there is a scene where the effects of the gas it creates take hold over our heroes, and as it is a mixture of tear gas and laughing gas then you can imagine how that turns out; again, not hilarious, but comfortably amusing. One nice bit has the five leads introduce themselves at the beginning by sticking their heads through a holes in a wall painted with the words "THE GOONS", then singing the theme song, such as it is: we should have more of that kind of thing. But really, anyone wanting classic comedy from this should stick with the series because Down Among The Z Men was strictly a quick cash-in of the kind British cinema knows all too well, and perhaps the weight of all this effort's talent is too much for hindsight to bear. Music by Jack Jordan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3001 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: